Comunidad corazon

The Comunidad Corazón program is not a handout to the poor; rather it is a proven method of assistance that allows the participants to help themselves. In the process, they help their neighbors and their community to grow and prosper.  The program is about families and the environment they exist in.  Corazón helps the poor by letting them earn their way out of poverty and into a brighter future.

The first step is a family’s desire to improve their way of life.  By performing community service on neighborhood projects, the Comunidad members can earn hours that they can exchange to fulfill many of their basic needs, such as food, clothing, tools, and building materials.  More importantly, they become eligible for scholarships for their children and job training for themselves.  In the process, they get to know their neighbors as they work side by side to better the community they seek to raise their children in. The result is a stronger family living in a better community with hope for a brighter future.

 

Comunidad Corazón touches on each level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—Physiological, safety, love, self-esteem and self-sufficiency.

The first level of Maslow’s hierarchy deals with physiological needs. These include the most basic necessities that we need to survive, such as food, water, and shelter. Corazón construction program is one of the programs that are specifically tailored to address this need.   In fact, one of the organization’s first mottos was “First, we get them out of the mud.”

 

Once they have housing and have met their neighbors through their community service work, families begin to work through a journey up the pyramid, which comes to the second level,  Safety and security.  With a roof over their heads, a door to lock, and neighbors to look over one another, these communities of families feel safe and secure.   Now I live better and I feel safer,”    stated one participant. 

Love and belonging is the third basic human need. Through volunteering, community service, special events and classes, participants,  build a social support system. They begin to feel they are part of a family, a community, the Comunidad Corazon.

Self-esteem is the next step up. Everyone wants to feel valued by others. Individuals that volunteer to make a difference see and feel the value of their involvement. Corazon participants want to have a strong esteem and know that other people respect them. As the participants perform community service with others, they build esteem by seeing the value and impact their contributions can have on their neighbors. As they graduate from classes they become more self-confident. As they become community leaders, they become empowered. They begin to move towards the last tier of Maslow’s hierarchy, self-actualization. Corazon invites all participants to live up to their potential as working members of one community. One elderly participant stated, I feel useful.”

 At the very top of the pyramid lies Self-fulfillment. Participants work hard every day to get to where we all want to be,  a place of self-efficiency and meaningfulness. This is a place in which one feels proud and genuinely happy and content with their life.